Title: Why Anarchists Are Stinky and Bad
Subtitle: An exploration of Marxist and Leninist critiques of Anarchism and a reckoning with history.
Date: Jan 4, 2022
Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3W1dJiM4EnQ
Notes: This is a transcription of a YouTube video which features modern Anarchist theory.

First time try theory. Hope it good. No hero worship please.

The Anarchists were right about what they wanted, they wanted communism now, but they didn’t realize you have to eat your vegetables and go to bed early first!!

Just kidding.

Marx was a white man! fart noise

When Marx was writing callout posts, of local injustice and villainy, in his tiny local newpaper that reached 500 or so people, the nearby Monarchy used whatever flimsy legal procedure they could make up to shut him down.

Whenever Marx and Engels picked up a book to read, it was whatever happened to be published and availible in their area, in the languages they understood, which meant most of it was whatever was allowed by the powers that be, or written in obscurity, by those who could afford education and literacy, or who were allowed in intellectual pursuits, typically the white sons of nobles, who benefitted from the wealth of colonial extraction, or exploitative labor, at the time, under whatever Monarchy’s and Republics existed, and so could afford to be sitting around contemplating life, and the condition of those held beneath them, and debating the ideas among their fellow elite, as the guiding doctrine of human society at the time.

This filtered the ideas they tended to encounter to those of a bourgious and counter-revolutionary nature, which is why it was very interesting that they eventually found their way to communism any ways.

They were constantly surrrounded by pseudo intellectuals clowns, who were driven by ego and ideological isolation, surrounded by so called socialists and communists of a reformative nature, calling more for a disciplining of the working masses beneath them, than of the ruling classes holding them in slavery.

Marx and Engels did what they could in their situation. They have the limitations of imagination you’d expect of beings embedded in their time and conditions, who occassionally turned their heads from their work to see a grand suffering of a newly industrializing working class, a masses kept much too ignorant to fully comprehend their situation on their own, or to find a path out of it, and the various unapologetically reactionary repressive forces organized to maintain that situation against all reason and humanity.

They contemplated the limitations of their ability to reach and organize the people in their time, as they tried and failed, and were kicked out of various countries.

A situation like that is bleak to live through. They looked to the world for news of what to expect, the same as us.

The Anarchists of their time said, more or less, let us come together in the realization of the highest moral principles as soon as possible, let us abandon our personal plans for the masses beyond liberating them, let us institute bottom up self rule by the people, let us abolish all powers of imposition and set the people free to build and determine their own lives, let us together overcome this inadequate system based on greed and self interest, let us oppose always the development of expansionist empire and exploitation. They expressed a belief that, untethered by existing repressions, the people’s natural inclination to mutual aid will drive society in the direction of the development of communism.

I think this is noble, and clearly correct. Any Marxist should be able to recognize that working people who think like this are of the least threat to a successful communism. Anarchists are undeniably principled and reliable comrades who want together with Marxists to realize the best possible world

But there are some problems in realizing such lofty ambitions, that I’ve only really seen articulated by Marxists, that I’d like to share with you today.

I am an Anarchist myself, and so these problems are presented here only as a challenge for those of each left discipline to overcome.

Have these gentleman ever seen a revolution? A revolution is certainly the most authoritarian thing there is. Just kidding. Fart noise

The first problem is one of scale. You may have gotten lucky enough in life to study and know of the highest principles. You may call now, or at the moment of truth, for all to unite under the highest vision of Communism, but will everyone at once understand the truth of what you are saying? Will they have the self discipline and knowledge, to keep themselves on an Anarchist path, as the conditions around them sour, and incentivize falling back into the ignorance and self centeredness of their present condition? Will they, in the conditions of a desperate and miserable revolution, perpetually organize to knock down each tyranny that arises, or will they turn to those who take the path of least resistance for an ignorant people, who organize a hierarchical compromise to provide stability and food for some in the short term?

Those of Marx’s thinking believed that the rationales of capital at the time had some merit where motivating development was concerned, a development they felt necessary to relieving the masses of their suffering condition. They believed that for current arrangement to be sustained, the peasants and working classes must surely have been disciplined in a belief in their own inferiority, and in the lack of imagination and self management, a force that will stand against their coherent self organization in merely the lack of repression. They recognized, rightly, the weight of cumulative intellectual knowledge and conditioning, and it’s relevance in finding a real solution to the problem of the working condition, a scientific socialism.

This is where the concept of Anarchist prefiguration comes in. The practice of building Anarchist conditions and institutions in the modern day, to educate and discipline the working class in the ways of Anarchism, to prepare them for the realization of an Anarchist overthrow of the current system. This has not been a common practice in history, happening maybe once in Spain, perhaps in Makhnoivist Ukraine. As to whether this is due to an unlikelihood of occurance in general, or some inviability due to conditions at the time, we cannot know, we have only one timeline to analyze. But from accounting for the socialist arrangements that did take hold historically, we can surmise it is a less likely revolutionary strategy.

One rightful objection to this is that the vanguard party method of the Marxist Leninists won out, not due to a natural advance, but because it is again the path of least resistance, a product of the same kind of ignorance holding together the current order. The ML’s advocated for their methods, and opposed further leftward momentum, and so manifested their system into existence.

That is most certainly true, in some respect, as the flow of ideology is a material force, and does have an impact on events. But we also must consider, why it was, that these ideas were popular at the time. The same imposed lack of imagination that sustains capitalism, tends to drive revolutionaries towards an imperfect vision, such as Marxism Leninism.

Leninism was, in a sense, a compromise with the reality. that the imperfect and undisciplined peasants and working masses, were about to revolt, but were not in a state to seize the opportunity and establish a coherent socialism after the revolution.

This initial difficulty in establishing socialism does not excuse the later events, of purposeful Bolshevik sabotage and co-option of the organic workers organizations that tried to push the politics of the country further left. This is the danger of centering so much power in the hands of intellectuals who think they know best for their entire country, to the point where they identify enemies in those who call for the promises of the revolution too soon.

But we must also consider that, even with as much focus, as the Bolsheviks put, on turning Russia, a post-monarchist post-revolutionary society, filled with traumatized war orphans, into a modern industrial nation, capable of producing machines of war, strong enough to stand up to the unseen alliance of fascists, determined to stomp out the largest communist project in the world. they still lost 12 million, to the advance of the Nazis, in World War 2. Perhaps, if the far left had not been repressed, and pulled in line with state interests, had been permitted more control over their labor, more freedom, they might had acted more in the interests of what they could see on the ground, and not in the interests of a socialist country preparing against fascist incursion, and even more might have died. On the other hand, perhaps preserving the spirit of the revolution would be worth losing more millions in the long run, but such things are of less interest to humans embedded in the moment.

It is a horrific thing to even have to contemplate. I have only the highest respect to those who gave their lives fighting fascism.

But we must also then consider, that the failures to embrace leftward momentum, were more than just disassembling a few independent workers organizations. They took militant action against the Kronstadt uprising, a movement of pure communists, and the Makhnovist Anarchists, concerned with Ukrainian independence from Bolshevik imposition, but communists all the same. The Bolsheviks wiped them out, with the might of the state, as if they were simple enemies like the whites. More sympathy is given to the flawed nature of their citizens, when they are of a reactionary nature, than is given to those who resist the state for left motivations. Perhaps the truth is that, had these groups been able to spread leftward momentum in the USSR, to bring about a second revolution, perhaps a more equitable society would have formed, that had the morale to drive the Nazis back in equal measure, or perhaps better. It is not easy to know. Perhaps the people were so tired of war, and yearned strongly for even the illusion of peace and stability. I can only hope, that I am right in thinking, that each person in a revolutionary movement, wants to secure the revolution against any backsliding. Believes genuinely that communism is possible, and that a communistic society does not have a particular weakness against external opposition. I should hope that we can show our people, the necessity, of living our life as a duty, to secure communism on this planet, so humanity can live in peace, whether the opposition be fascist, or claiming to stand for the working class.

Accusations of the traitorous nature of the Anarchists abound, from people who identify more with the state, than the people, who are happy with the illusory knowledge that people like them, are up there watching out for them. Look around and see what such thinking eventually brings you.

Of course, some measure of control, or force, must be deployed to secure some kind of revolutionary society after revolt, and some compromises will be made with the imperfect masses who brought it about, but without some kind of decentralized democratic control over the actions of the revolutionary organization that we might call a state, the revolution is more strongly at the whims of whatever despots people have lazily settled for. The simple fact of your being able to understand these words as a normal person without your head exploding, shows that people can be convinced of other methods, if only they are made known.

The people, especially in their ignorant state, do not stand purely for ideology and principles, they are driven by material want, in the face of their experiences with the deprival and instability of capital. The people’s ignorance, their lack of cognitive complexity, and therefore ability to know what is going on, or what might be done, are partially the result of the conditions of deprival itself.

Modern science shows, that children who endure a lack of appropriate nutrition and critical education in their early years, have embedded a permanently duller mind for life. A problem endemic to capitalism or Marx’s time and our time.

To recover from this requires generations of children to fold into, and later take the reigns of, increasingly complex educating institutions, which require a stable society, founded by the imperfect post-revolutionary masses. It is always the case, that it is the people now, with their current limitations, who must imagine, and realize, the means by which to build a future society, and they will never get it quite right. Only the future people can know some things.

In summary. Unless your country is highly educated, but not bourgeois, unless your country has had years of Anarchist Prefiguration, we cannot simply call for Anarchism, post revolution. Some more sloppy imperfect post-revolutionary arrangement is more likely, so we must prepare people to address that, and navigate that. The intelligence, and lack of want, required to develop the anarchist and communist thinking in the masses, requires a society organized by imperfect people, to educate a series of generations to discipline them to act as Anarchists in their day to day life. Meanwhile, some measure of seizure and imposition of a kind of socialism is required, but which must be open to allowing Anarchism to exist where it arises, and to encourage the development of Anarchism, as it is the realization of Communism, which if we are to espouse it’s virtues as an ideal, we should believe in its effectiveness, and advocate it’s realization where we can. Treat it as an experiment, use it to propagandize the weak willed proletariat of other countries in the world, unenthusiastic to sacrifice for a state managed market, allow it to illuminate the path that was once only conceivable as darkness.

I do not know if this can be done, as Anarchists have been theorizing that the Marxist Leninist state, like any state, takes on it’s own interests, and corrupts all those that touch it, and so maybe we will endlessly perform the cycle of repressing or murdering the anarchists of every revolution and falling back into relative disappointment in the form of another red liberalism. Let’s break the cycle people.

Just kidding, Bakunin was a white man. Fart noise

Hi there, thank you for reading. I hope it made you think of something at least. This content is availible among much else on my channel about Anarchism in the modern day. I can be reached on my YouTube channel or my Twitter. !